Posted in day-to-day, Philomenaville, RL, updates

Again, July

The moon is shining on the East Coast and the sun’s an hour away from setting where I am now. Right about now, all my SCA friends back in New England are gathering around their campfires for music and stories and tales of absent friends. And I’m the absent friend, wishing I was there now. Here it’s traffic and car alarms and motorcycles and piles and piles of loneliness.

Don’t know why I’m saying all this, except it feels like I’ll spill over if I don’t say something.

So back last April, not even a full page of blog entries ago, my love and my cat and I made the trip of a lifetime, towing a trailer behind a little Sunfire from the geographical center of Nowhere, Maine to the city of San Diego. We’d begin a whole new story of our lives. Only, halfway into the first chapter, an unexpected twist in the plot came.

Now, we’re going to pack it up and make the trip of a lifetime, again. We’re starting over, again. We’ve got so much to do, including getting rid of almost all of our worldly possessions (again), planning the route (again), job and apartment hunting (again).

But this time we’re not moving 3500 miles away from the campfires and the stories: we’re going back to them. Or, at least, within a day’s drive. We’re going to a place that himself knows and loves; a place that I hope I can get to know and learn to love. A place where someone as anxious about driving as I am, doesn’t have to drive to get around. A place with rain, and green grass, neither of which can be easily found in San Diego. I never knew how much I’d miss them both until three months without them.

We’re going home to Boston. Maybe I should say shipping up to Boston, like the Dropkick Murphys song.

Additionally, it’s July. If you’ve been along with me for the ride for some time now, you might know what that means. For those who don’t know or don’t recall, July tends to mark the low point in my interest in Second Life. Between having lots to do in RL and just some kind of seasonal cycle of interest, I simply don’t get into it as much. It’s long been my desire in SL to create something that can hold together without me there all the time to do it myself, and damned if the community in Philomenaville isn’t starting to do just that. Mind, I didn’t create that, not all on my own, not by a long shot, and I’m not the only one who maintains it either. And frankly, I like it that way. I like that it won’t collapse without me.

This weekend I’m supposed to relax and do some fucking off at the beach, because after that, we won’t have much fucking-off time at all.

Posted in building, community, day-to-day, I wrote this, Philomenaville, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, updates

How to Improve Your Community in Two Words

Philomenaville is coming along swimmingly. I’ve sent in our application to have a presence at SL11BCC and am waiting to hear on that. Some buildings have been moved around and shifted about. The outdoor freebie market is gone, replaced by a thrift market for people to sell leftovers from gatchas (is it gatcha or gacha? Anywhoodle.) A welcome center is being put together in one wing of Town Hall, a meeting area in the other. The park is sporting a cool new Conservatory building which contains the prettiest damn dance machines you’ve ever seen. The trolley is running well and is no longer spawning additional trolleys (they were everywhere!). We’re gearing up for our first ever dance in the Conservatory this weekend (Saturday! 4PM! Join us in Bushside!) and we’re also gearing up for some RP event type stuff in a week or two. It hasn’t been without some pains in my ass but all in all, it’s going really well.

One thing that hasn’t been going well is that the Friday afternoon Social Hour at the Cafe has been a flop. And the more I talk about it with other people the more I think people just aren’t really sure what to do, or else are bored by the idea of all meeting in one spot without there being any music or anything. It’s not like it’s a town meeting mandated by the Mayor or anything. What do you talk about for an hour? So it annoys me when people don’t show up, but at the same time, if I wasn’t running it, I wonder if I’d skip it too. So I’m hopeful that Saturday afternoon dances at the Conservatory will fill that social void a little better. There’s music. There’s watching yourself dance. There’s lighthearted interaction. People are just more likely to show up.

And really, that’s the secret to making a community work, I think. It’s not me planning the events; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It’s not Thaddeus initiating group chat; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It frustrates me that I can’t make more people show up so, listen, whatever community you’re in, if you want to make it better, richer, more enjoyable… SHOW UP. You don’t have to be an event planner, you don’t have to be a prolific builder, you don’t have to be a dazzling conversationalist, just show up. That’s all.